THE GUARDIAN GUIDE TO BURNING MAN: Tips and resources to get the most out of Burning Man
Held Over My favorite second-hand clothing store creates special racks of Burning Man clothes this time of year, but I always prefer to assemble my own outfits from their great selection of unique vintage and specialty clothes, including an entire room of tuxedos and other retro formal wear.
1543 Haight, SF. (415) 864-0818
Distractions The oldest walk-up Burning Man ticket outlet, Distractions knows just what burners need, offering a wide variety of playa-oriented clothing and accessories that you'll need, from goggles to EL wire strips to pipes and other smoking paraphernalia.
1552 Haight, SF. (415) 252-8751
Cool Neon This Oakland-based company specializes in electro luminescent wire, the staple item for illumination on the playa (and whether you're walking or on a bike, you will need to be lit-up out there). Cool Neon makes the rounds at many of the fairs and trunk shows, but you can also place orders for shipment or arrange pickups at its office at 1433 Mandela Parkway in Oakland.
Discount Builders Supply Rather than spending your hard-earned money at Home Depot or some other chain store in the burbs, this locally owned business has everything you need to construct and decorate your project, or see to your sundry personal needs. They're also used to burners with strange requests, so they give good advice.
1695 Mission, SF. (415) 621-8511, www.discoutbuilderssupplysf.com
The project. It is the essence of Burning Man, whether it's the fun fur and EL wire you're putting on your bike, the bar or showers your camp is building, or some ridiculously ambitious artwork that you're creating with a crew of hundreds. Black Rock City is a series of thousands of these individual projects, all of which are coming together right now. And if you're looking for some help finishing (or starting) yours, here are some resources you can tap.
The Crucible The Crucible is a venerable nonprofit institution that offers a wide variety of arts and crafts classes and resources in a state-of-the-art facility in West Oakland, with many burners among its staff and clients. As the longtime host of the Fire Arts Festival, this place knows its stuff.
1270 17th St., Oakl. www.thecrucible.org
CELLspace The Flaming Lotus Girls and many other key burner art collectives were born here, and his facility continues to provide the expertise and tools to bring Burning Man to life, year after year.
2050 Bryant, SF. www.cellspace.org
Techshop The new kid on the block, but one of the most technologically advanced, Techshop is a DIY workshop with amazing tools and experts on staff. Join its Aug. 15 EL wire workshop or other upcoming classes catering to burners.
926 Howard, SF. www.techshop.ws
American Steel Also known as Big Art Studios, this massive warehouse houses many of these biggest projects now bound for Burning Man. It may not have the structural support of places like the Crucible, but if you're looking for knowledgeable burners to work through some problem, American Steel is brimming over with them.
1960 Mandela Parkway, Oakl. www.americansteelstudios.com